The Glycemic Load (GL) provides a structure for ranking a food portion's carbohydrate content based on the portion size and the food's Glycemic Index (GI). The GL is perhaps a more useful measure of a food's glycemic impact than the GI. One of the problems with the GI is that it's quantitative rather than qualitative. A single piece of hard candy, even though the candy ranks high on the GI, will have little effect on our blood sugar.
The GI values are determined experimentally, by feeding a very small test group (generally just 10 individuals) a fixed portion of the food and measuring their blood sugar response at specific intervals of time. Individual responses vary widely, as do processing and preparation methods. In the case of organic foods, because the products are not refined, a fixed GI is even more challenging to determine. Because of this, glycemic indexes are often described as a range, as in "<39". It's inexact and very general. Low GI foods have a rating of less than 55, while medium GI foods are 56-69 and high have a rating of 70 or more. When counting Glycemic Loads, less than 10 is low, 11 to 19 is medium and 20 or more is high.
Our glycemic responses are determined by both the type of carbohydrate and the amount consumed. By calculating the GI and the net carbs (the total carbs minus dietary fiber), you can calculate the Glycemic Load: GL=GI/100 x Net Carbs. Given this, with a GI of 39 or less and net carbs per tablespoon of 16, the Glycemic Load of Organic Blue Agave is 6.24 (.39x16).
Compare the Glycemic Indexes* and Loads of other foods we know and love:
|| Serving Size
| Lowfat yogurt
|| 1 cup (245g)
|| 1 medium (138g)
| Organic Blue Agave
|| 1 tbsp (21g)
|| 1 med (131g)
| Brown Rice
|| 1 cup (195g)
| Table Sugar (sucrose)
|| 1 tbsp (12g)
|| 1 cup (154g)
|| 2 cups (16g)
|| 50 |
Source: nutritiondata.com. For more information on the limitations of the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load, please visit NutritionData.com.
As you can see, some foods, in spite of their high GI, have a low glycemic impact on our systems when a regular serving is enjoyed; similarly, a low GI food high in carbs can have a higher overall glycemic impact on our bodies. As with all things, moderation is a very good plan.
* DISCLAIMER: The GI testing laboratory has taken due care to ensure the accuracy of the results provided in this report. However, the results of glycemic response tests in human subjects are subject to biological variability and may vary depending on the methods used. Thus, these results may not be able to be reproduced either by the GI testing lab or by others.